These days, posting a blog lashing out at radio shockjock Kyle Sandilands is like releasing a sloth on a soccer field and going after it with a jeep and a high-powered crossbow.

Looking for desktop computers online is a waste of time, effort and resources.

Some might say that it’s not even that much fun, as the response to one of his off-colour pronouncements has become rote – we all lash out on Twitter, a few journos bash out an Op Ed condemning him and he hides for a few days before returning smarmier than ever.

Sandiland’s latest outburst, however, demands more than just the customary couple of hours of scorn and bile. It’s a crass tirade and exactly the sort of stupidly aggressive, reactionary garbage that makes for a dumb, angry public conversation. However, it’s more than that. It’s an outright hateful, misogynistic threat.

It’s time to ensure that Kyle Sandilands is stripped of his megaphone. It’s time to tear up the Get Out Of Jail card. It’s time, once and for all, for the community to show Sandilands that his brand of ugly hate – and it is hate – isn’t acceptable, that there are consequences for consistent, appalling behaviour.

Look at the transcript of yesterday’s outburst. In response to a News article by Alison Stephenson, he calls her a ‘fat slag’, a ‘fat bitter thing’ and a ‘piece of shit’ on a show with  hundreds of thousands of listeners.

Seconds later he calls her a ‘bullshit artist’ and a ‘troll’, before naming her and calling for her sacking. He then makes comments about her body before telling ‘Watch your mouth girl, or I will hunt you down‘.

That’s a direct threat and one that would quite rightly intimidate and frighten Stephenson. I think she’d be well within her rights to report it to the police. The man clearly has impaired judgement.

It’s a tired old drum that I beat, but if we’re supposed to be raising a generation of young people who are decent, respectful and able to continue building a functional, healthy society, we’ve got to show them that threatening women and calling them foul names is something that we don’t accept, especially from a position of power during a nationally-syndicated radio program.

Many will stand to defend Sandilands, mostly under Voltaire’s tattered old banner – you know, the one about disagreeing with what someone has to say, but defending to the death their right to say it. I’d never call for him to be silenced, or prevented from speaking. He can call people ‘fat slags’ all he wants. He can threaten people to his heart’s content.

Austereo just need to realize that it’s an appalling use of airtime, that they’re continuing to defend the actions of a misogynist and that the right course of action here would be to sack him.

He can call people ‘fat slags’ and threaten them on his own coin.

Sacking Sandilands would send the kind of message that White Ribbon and other groups bust their guts to get out there: All violence is wrong, but violence against women is utterly despicable, and when you promote it in any way, shape or form, there will be consequences.

Them’s just the rules.

Austereo are very likely not to sack or dock pay from Sandilands over his outburst if the scorn is restricted to Twitter and Facebook. That just inflames his notoriety: you’re buying into the myth with every snarky tweet. If you’re serious about sending a message to both Sandilands and the station that threats and hate won’t fly on our radios, you need to make a complaint to ACMA, stating your concerns.

You can do that here.

Oh, and Kyle, if you’re reading? Come at me bro! I’d love to see you try it on an 140kg former gridiron player!

This entry was posted in Australia, Opinion on by admin.


You’d think that in the wake of violent clashes that garnered worldwide attention, a local council would want to investigate the processes and decisions that led to that occurrence, right?

Not if you’re Melbourne City Council.

This afternoon, Occupy Melbourne protesters attended a meeting of the council to watch Councillor Cathy Oke introduce a motion for an independent inquiry into the events leading up to, and including the eviction of protesters from City Square. A secondary motion sought a council report detailing all council actions leading to the eviction.

Both were shut down by the council, and in particular by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, who was a vocal critic in the days leading up the eviction and who has taken much of the credit for bringing in the Victorian Police to remove protesters.

There will be no questions asked. There will be no examination of process. There’s no way to know what legal advice was given to Robert Doyle regarding the removal of the protesters, besides that which he claims in TV and radio interviews.

An event that traumatized those who were kicked, struck and capsicum-sprayed and shocked even more will, in essence, only have one representation – that recorded by the media and those with recording devices. on that Friday morning.

This is another kick to the belly of an open democracy and transparent governance. Simply, this is a weakening of your ability to go out and make your voice heard when you believe something needs fixing.

You may not agree with the Occupiers.

You may think they’re lacking in direction and focus.

However, if they’re willing to go to this much trouble to cover their tracks and obfuscate the decisions leading to the eviction of a bunch of the ‘usual suspects’ when times are good, you can be sure they’ll do a hell of a lot worse when the chips are down and things really go to hell.

Many have been shrieking about the ‘death of democracy’ in the wake of the passing of the carbon tax legislation. It’s nothing of the sort. The passage of a piece of legislation reaffirms democracy. It is the kind of  sneaky, underhanded, undemocratic tactics that were employed tonight that end up bleeding our system dry, slowly but surely.

You may think that the Occupiers had nothing to be mad about. This is something to get mad about. This is something worthy of getting back out into the streets outside of the City of Melbourne building and howling the place down.

We claim to not to do things like this in the country. We need to make sure that’s the truth of the matter, not just something we tell ourselves.

Now, it’s up to Ron Merkel QC, the man who took on and beat Andrew Bolt, to challenge the City of Melbourne, question the legality of the processes used against Occupy Melbourne and strike a blow for free political expression in this country.

In the meantime, I’m glad we’ve got those guys sleeping in the park. In the simple act of sleeping on a patch of lawn and defying the council, they’re doing something not many of us have the stones to do.

Something different, like computers for sale online

This entry was posted in Australia, Culture, Current Affairs, Opinion on by admin.


From the Access Ministries website, here’s what they think their chaplains are there to do:

“With the increase of ethnic diversity in our schools, cyber-bullying, mental illness, depression, and related deaths, our chaplains now more than ever, find their roles as imperative for the well- being of school communities. They are passionate about their students and families, teaching staff and the wider community that the school represents.”

Now, here’s what the DEEWR guidelines for the National Schools Chaplaincy Program say chaplains are there to do:

  • providing general religious and personal advice to those seeking it, comfort and support to  students and staff, such as during times of grief.
  • supporting students and staff to create an environment of cooperation and respect,
  • promoting an understanding of diversity and the range of religious affiliations and their traditions.
  • respecting the range of religious views and cultural traditions in the school and the broader community and also respecting the rights of parents/guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children is in line with their own convictions.
  • working in a wider spiritual context to support students and staff of all religious affiliations and not seeking to impose any religious beliefs or persuade an individual toward a particular set of religious beliefs.
  •  being approachable by all students, staff and members of the school community of all religious affiliations.

Now, I’m happy to agree that chaplains can provide a valuable service in representing the spiritual dimension within a school context – I have seen this in the private, religious schools in which I’ve worked. I’ll also happily acknowledge that they can provide a valuable service in comforting children who may be experiencing the death of a loved one, or a hard time at home.

What I don’t see in the guidelines are any references to chaplains providing counselling and assistance for students suffering depression. Nor do I see any references to chaplains having a disciplinary role, as is required when dealing with cyber-bullying. In fact, all I see are references to chaplains being there to listen, stand up for spirituality and generally potter around the place.

What is clear to me, however, is that Access Ministries see the role of their chaplains as something more, something verging into areas ably served by our teachers and existing welfare staff. They are grabbing for that turf. By their own admission, Access Ministries believe that all their staff are capable of dealing with students experiencing mental illnesses such as depression. They consider their chaplains to be able to deal with cases of cyber-bullying that must be dealt with by teaching staff and school administration as part of their duty of care. It almost seems to me that Access seek to become the defacto welfare department for Victorian schools…

…and that thing about chaplains being needed, as schools become more ethnically-diverse, what’s that all about? Surely a broader range of ethnicities in our schools would mandate a more equitable, secular welfare system?

I think it’s time that Access Ministries more closely look at the chaplaincy guidelines, and publicly clarified their position. After all they’ve been through this year, I’m sure they wouldn’t wnat to be accused over overstepping the boundaries again.

This entry was posted in Australia, Current Affairs, Education, Religion on by admin.